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Social Media - A Challenge and Opportunity for Customer Service

[fa icon="calendar"] January 29, 2020 / Ashley Kalcic

Social Media has been adopted, by and large. Whether or not you’re an avid tweeter or adding to your Instagram story daily, it’s safe to say social media is here to stay. What does this mean for businesses? Well, most companies today have embraced social media platforms for marketing purposes, and that’s great! But, if your business fails to acknowledge social media as more than a promotional platform, you may really want to reconsider. 

At The Call Center School, we are seeing more of our clients turning to support their customers on social media platforms every day. And it’s no wonder why, with social media outlets just a click away, customers have more power and influence than ever before. With this power, many would prefer to add a quick post on your company’s Facebook page than wait on hold to talk to someone in your service center. What’s more, is the public nature of these social platforms and the impact one negative post can have on your company’s image.

The Reach of Social Media 

Consider this, if a customer had a poor experience with one of your products or services before social media, they may have complained to a couple of family members and a few friends. Now however, they aren’t going to waste time sharing their grief one-on-one to a handful of people, they’re armed and ready to shout about the issue as far as they can digitally reach.

Don’t panic! Like every complaint, you have an opportunity to turn around the situation for your customer, potentially leaving an even better impression than before the issue occurred. And when a complaint on social media is handled well, you get to leave a positive impression on not only one customer, but all of those who see it. 

Beyond the common misconception that people only go to social media to complain, you should find some loyal customers out there singing your praises too! If a customer is happy with the quality of service they’ve received, even if it is in response to a negative situation, they will often go on to share their positive experiences online. And it’s important for your digital customer service team to acknowledge these positive posts as well! Loyal customers and advocates for your brand are your greatest ally on social media. After all, 88% of buyers are influenced in their buying decision by reviews (Zendesk).

Quality is critical

I don’t want to scare you away, but the only thing worse than ignoring customer service on social media is poor service on social media. 

Think about a telephone interaction with a customer for a moment. Aside from using the recorded call for quality and training purposes, a call between an agent and customer generally remains a private, two-way interaction. It doesn’t matter how perfectly the basic principles of customer service and telephone etiquette are demonstrated throughout the call. An agent’s best efforts can go completely unseen and unheard to other customers. The complete opposite applies for social media interactions. One simple customer Tweet or post can be viewed within minutes, by millions of users from around the globe. The public transparency of social customer service enables customers and followers to see just how well, or how poorly, your company handles specific customer interactions.

So, while some may have a casual, laid back perception of social media, when representing a brand or a company the utmost professionalism is required. Don’t get me wrong, a casual demeanor is ok! In fact, I would encourage it, but only at the right time. The key is that your digital agent knows when they can respond casually and when to be formal, when to take a conversation to a private channel, how to handle really upset customers, and can recognize when maybe your company is just being trolled. 

Conclusion

Facebook and Twitter have evolved to become much more than prominent platforms for marketing and advertising. In fact, social media is becoming an increasingly valid and unavoidable outlet through which customers expect to solicit and receive customer service. Not only are customers looking for responses on social media platforms, they expect a helpful, well-structured, and prompt response with every interaction. Due to the public nature of these channels, there is little room for error. One negative interaction has the potential to be seen by many and could therefore really tarnish your brand and company’s reputation. It’s imperative that your staff has the knowledge and skills to deliver the best possible service in social networks.

If you are looking for training, then we suggest taking a look at our “Social Media Customer Service" course. In this course, agents will learn how to communicate professionally with customers on social platforms. They will learn about the key differences between social media and telephone interactions, how to identify and handle different types of customers, and learn the specifics of customer service on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Topics: Contact Center Training, Social Media Customer Service

Ashley Kalcic

Written by Ashley Kalcic

Ashley Kalcic is dedicated to global success of The Call Center School, focusing client acquisition, retention, and market presence. With a foundation in contact center workforce management, she has a strong basis for contact center training and development. Ashley has worked on addressing the training needs and initiatives of hundreds of clients from small contact center organizations to large fortune 500 companies. With a B.A. in psychology from Northern Illinois University with a focus on Industrial Organizational and Cognitive processes, Ashley Kalcic has a firm understanding of what helps motivate, retain and satisfy individuals in the workplace. With that knowledge, she promotes ongoing training and development at all levels of the contact center, from frontline staff to contact center supervisors, workforce managers, and quality assurance specialists.